A Minneapolis man has been charged with allegedly throwing the first punches that preceded a fatal shooting in downtown Minneapolis’ entertainment district last month.
Tyler D. Walker, 21, was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with one count of second-degree murder with intent.
Authorities allege that Walker initiated the physical altercation with 21-year-old Enzo Herrera Garcia, of Apple Valley, at the intersection of S. 8th Street and Hennepin Avenue.
Walker’s companion and the alleged shooter, Varnell D. Allen, then joined in, the charges said.
Allen, 23, of Columbia Heights, was charged earlier this month with second-degree murder with intent for allegedly firing the fatal shot.
Police have said that Herrera Garcia and his alleged attackers did not know each other.
Neither police nor charging documents have shed light on why the men apparently engaged in a verbal dispute that turned physical, or what was said.
According to the complaint: Police responded to the shooting about 10:21 p.m. on Sept. 28. Herrera Garcia was lying on the street suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. His girlfriend was tending to him.
He did not have a pulse and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police learned that Herrera Garcia and his girlfriend were walking down Hennepin Avenue when the suspects drove by in a vehicle and allegedly yelled at them. Herrera Garcia yelled back.
The vehicle stopped, and the suspects exited the car. Walker allegedly punched Herrera Garcia. Allen allegedly pistol-whipped Herrera Garcia, dropped the gun, picked it up and shot him, the charges said.
Walker allegedly continued his assault on Herrera Garcia while Allen pistol-whipped him and as Herrera Garcia’s girlfriend tried to restrain Walker, the complaint said.
The incident was allegedly captured on a surveillance camera and a bystander’s cellphone.
In a previous Facebook post, Herrera Garcia’s sister, Heyzel Herrera, chastised those who assumed her brother’s actions invited violence.
“My brother died fighting to protect who he loved,” she wrote.
Walker’s criminal history includes only petty misdemeanor traffic violations. He was in custody when the charges were filed.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708